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Letter from Principal about Reopening on Monday 1st March

Dear parents and guardians of our children from Junior Infants to 2nd class,

This week has been a busy week at our school as we prepare to open our doors to all the children in the Junior Classes (JI-2nd) next Monday. We were excited and delighted that the Department of Education finally confirmed their reopening plans for schools albeit on a phased basis. We have missed the children dearly and we really look forward to welcoming them back to school on we reopen after a long period with remote learning, we ask everyone to play their part and support us going Monday morning.

I know you are all feeling mixed emotions about the return to school next week. We know this lockdown has been particularly difficult on everyone especially the children. However, I want to reassure you all that very little has changed for the children and the staff with regards to Risk Mitigation Measures. I have attached our School’s Covid 19 Response Plan so you can inform yourself of the measures that are in place in our school. We ask that everyone works with us. We need to do everything we can to ensure that we keep Covid-19 away from our school as we had done up to Christmas last year. For this reason we require everyone to comply with the Public Health Guidelines as we are still in a level 5 lockdown and we want to ensure that our schools remain open for the rest of the year.

So what do Parents need to do before Monday:

1. Return the books to the school:
Yesterday I sent a message via the school App to remind everyone to bag up your child’s school books, resources etc with a plastic bag. Please label the sealed bag with your child’s name, class and teacher name and place it on the table outside the school before the end of the working day tomorrow, Friday 26th Feb. This will enable us to quarantine the belongings for the children for their return to school as a safety measure.

2. Return to school declaration
Prior to the children returning on Monday, a “Return to Education Form” must be completed and submitted to the school. For your convenience, this has been uploaded on the school App under “Consent Forms”. We require this form so we are asking that you submit this over the next few days in advance of Monday, 1st March. If anyone is having difficulties with this form on the App, we will have hard copies available at the school on Monday Morning to make life a little easier for you.

3. Infection Control Measures
Please familiarise yourself with the contents of Section 5 of our updated School’s Covid-19 Response Plan which is about infection control. We ask that you chat to your child about the hand hygiene practices and respiratory etiquette required when at school and in public.
We ask that all parents comply with public health advice to ensure everyone’s safety. There is to be no congregation of parents at the front of the school. We trust that you will take this request seriously and support us.

4. Resources for parents
This is a very worrying time for many and you may feel very anxious about your child returning. I am attaching the Department of Education Resources for parents on Wellbeing (https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/af24b-wellbeing-guidance-documents-for-parents-students-and-schools/#school-staff-primary-schools ) which may be of some help to you or your child.

Children’s Video: The Department of Education have prepared this lovely video /for the children returning on the 1st March. To view, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW9qUCnPAk0&feature=youtu.be

Attached is an advice sheet for parents about returning to school.

More short videos for parents from public health doctors will be circulated, once available, to reaffirm the importance of keeping COVID-19 out of education facilities by keeping symptomatic children at home. Parents should err on the side of caution in this respect and follow our school’s sickness policy. Sick children should not be sent to school during this time.

5. Communication with the school during the pandemic:

Unfortunately, we are still unable to receive visitors to the school as was the case last term. If you need to speak with us at the school, please do so through the school app, phone or email. We are here to help so if you have any concerns or issues, please let us know.

I really hope that all this information answers your questions and concerns. In the meantime, we are finishing the final touches to ensuring the school is “spick and span” for Monday and that the children are returning to our happy, safe and caring school where the fun can return with style from Monday. We are committed to making this work and look forward to ensuring that we welcome back the older children in two weeks time…. Fingers crossed.

Looking forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday.

Le Gach Dea Ghuí,

Caroline
Mrs. Colleran

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